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G Suite Admins Blog > G Suite Business

Email Hoarding at Work? Find Everything with these Gmail Tricks

A recent study says the average office worker sends and receives over 100 emails a day.

What's more is that most office workers keep every email they've ever sent or received.

Whether it's a contract someone emailed you or a message overlooked from last month, it always seems like we're looking for something. It's frustrating to waste time looking for attachments from years ago. 

If your office or small business is on Exchange Server or other legacy email server you need to migrate everything to Google Apps. One of the best features of Google Apps is that your business gets access to the most powerful search technology available. Where else do you go to search for a needle in the Internet haystack?

To: From: and CC:

gmail advanced search to from cc resized 600

This is the most common of Gmail search types. In the search bar type "to:" and then start typing a name or address for auto-complete to kick-in. Select the name, press the space bar and type in a keyword or two. It works for to:, From: and cc:.

- minus


Use the minus (or dash) key to designate words you want eliminated from results. 

before: after: 


Use to set a date range. Note that the format when searching Gmail is YYYY/MM/DD.


gmail advanced search has attachment

Includes messages that only have attachments or whatever you specify. Can be combined with the above to show all attachments to or from a person. Start by typing "has" and check the dropwdown for additional options.

filename: PDF

gmail advanced search part of filename

If you are looking for a specific file or file type you can include the filename: tag. Our example returns all PDF files. 



This will search within labels in Gmail (also referred to as folders) Tags like in:Spam, in:trash or in:anywhere will include these labels which are not set by default.

is:unread is:read is:starred is:chat


You can search the status of a message with the "is:" operator. This is helpful to search Google Chat messages as well by using the "is:" chat operator. Find all unread messages in Gmail quickly with just the "is:unread" search operator.

How do you search for a specific message in Gmail or outlook?